Turkey: Pro-Kurdish party calls on opposition to fight against the removal of mayors by the government
HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) on Friday protested the third anniversary of the nomination of trustees to several municipalities it won in the last local elections and appealed to opposition parties to promise an abolishment of the entire system if they win the parliamentary elections next year.
Three years ago, the interior ministry without any court order ousted three Kurdish mayors of the cities of Diyarbakir, Van and Mardin over alleged terror links less than five months after they were elected and replaced them with what is called “government trustees”.
Despite heavy criticism from rights groups to the practice that deprives the Kurdish population of their chosen representatives, the ministry over the years replaced 48 of HDP’s 65 elected mayors.
“With the nomination of government trustees, the will of the people was hampered. (...) Election law, ballot box law, electoral justice were all destroyed,” a statement by the HDP said.
The statement continued:
“The [trustee system] has nothing to do with democracy nor law. It has nothing to do with the international democratic conventions Turkey has signed, it has nothing to do with the constitution. But this man's (interior minister Suleyman Soylu) nature is to violate the law and democracy”
Saruhan Oluc, the vice co-chair of the HDP called on the opposition parties to pledge a removal of the entire system if they win the parliamentary elections next years.
“Let's continue the fight against this trustee regime together. I say to the political opposition, promise the public that you will end the trustee regime, once you come to power, that you will never allow the trustee regime, that ballot box law, election law and justice, and the will of the people will never be usurped,” he said.